Press Release

November 2013

Lansing Lane Access Parking to Close

In preparation for a streambank stabilization project along the Boise River, the parking area at Lansing Lane Access near Middleton, will be closed beginning Monday, December 2.

Limited parking will be available beginning Saturday, December 7.

For more information regarding the stabilization project, contact the engineer for Flood Control District #10, Steve Sweet, at Quadrant Consulting, 208-342-0091.

A popular duck hunting rendezvous point, Lansing Lane Access continues to get smaller as the Boise River eats away at the site's exposed riverbank. Idaho Fish and Game is working with Flood Control District #10 to stabilize and restore the bank.

The first phase of the project involves the deposition of 200 to 250 cubic yards of large rock at the Lansing Lane Access parking area by Fish and Game staff. In early 2014, Flood Control District #10 will be using the material to construct several rock barbs in the Boise River to deflect water away from the eroding riverbank. Additional bank reconstruction work will also be done.

Construction is expected to take two weeks and will be conducted prior to spring run-off. The site will be closed to public access during construction. Additional information concerning construction can be found on Flood Control District #10's website at www.boiseriver.org.

75th Celebration: Wild Turkeys & Other Introduced Species

Though wild turkeys can be found across Idaho, they are not native.

Turkeys arrived in 1961 courtesy of Idaho Fish and Game when the first Merriam's turkeys were released near Whitebird. An aggressive translocation program, which included Eastern and Rio Grande turkeys, have made wild turkeys a well-established species in Idaho.

Today, turkeys are Idaho's largest upland game birds. Smart, crafty and colorful, they're known for their keen eyesight. Benjamin Franklin promoted wild turkeys as our national bird instead of the bald eagle.

Like many introduced species, if the habitat and conditions suit them, they flourish. Turkeys have adapted so well in northern Idaho, they have become a nuisance in some locations. Yet few turkeys are found in the Salmon Region, because little habitat is suitable there. Wild turkey populations in Idaho are largely found in the Panhandle, Clearwater and Southwest regions and parts of the Southeast Region.

Turkeys are only one of many new game species Fish and Game has introduced to Idaho in the past 75 years. Some, like turkeys, have taken hold and provided new hunting and viewing opportunities. Other introductions, such as brook trout introduced more than 75 years ago, have provided new fishing opportunity, but we've learned also compete with Idaho's native species.

Eager to have certain species to hunt and fish, private individuals have also unlawfully introduced other species on their own that can have great impacts on natural systems.

Game species Fish and Game has introduced to Idaho include chukar, Japanese green pheasants, gray (Hungarian) partridge, Gambel's quail, California quail and Merriam's, Rio Grande and eastern turkeys, walleye, crappie, bluegill, tiger muskie and sunapee trout.

Licenses, Tags Go on Sale Starting Sunday

When 2014 licenses and tags go on sale this Sunday, hunters and anglers have a new option this year to buy a three-year license, adding convenience to a small savings.

Nonresidents can buy licenses, deer and elk tags beginning Sunday, December 1.

Residents also can buy 2014 hunting licenses starting that day, and they can buy a receipt for deer and elk tags, which don't go on sale until after deer, elk and pronghorn controlled hunt drawings.

Hunters can redeem the receipt for a deer or elk tag after the controlled hunt drawings in July so those whose names are drawn don't have to exchange their general season tags for controlled hunt tags at a Fish and Game office. Instead the controlled hunt winners are simply issued a controlled hunt tag at any license vendor. The rest are issued general season tags.

This Year How About a Gift License

It's getting close to that time of year again, and here's an idea for anyone who's looking for a gift that's always in style, never the wrong size or color, and useable every day of the year.

Go to any Idaho Fish and Game regional office around the state and buy them a gift certificate for a 2014 hunting and fishing license. They make good stocking stuffers.

A gift certificate is the best way to get them their hunting and fishing license for Christmas. Adult residents age 18 and over have to buy their own license because they need to show proof of residency.

Idaho Fish and Game gift certificates can be redeemed only at Fish and Game regional offices.

Several options and price ranges are available. Lifetime licenses cost from $276.75 to $1,113.00, depending on the age of the recipient. Seasonal licenses sell from $7.25 for junior hunting to $124.25 for the Sportsman's Package. A hunting license costs $12.75, or $34.75 for a three-year license; and a fishing license costs $25.75, or $73.75 for a three-year license.

The Sportsman's Package includes hunting and fishing licenses, tags for deer, elk, bear, mountain lion, gray wolf, turkey, salmon and steelhead as well as archery and muzzleloader permits. That is a savings of nearly a $70 over buying the items separately.

If playing a game of chance is more your style, the Idaho Fish and Game also offers tickets for Super Hunt drawings for individual deer, elk, antelope or moose hunts, and Super Hunt Combos for deer, elk, antelope and moose. The money raised from the purchase of these tickets goes to the Access Yes! program. The tickets can be purchased at any license vendor.

Super Hunt entries cost $6 for the first one, and $4 for each additional entry purchased during the same transaction. Super Hunt Combo tickets cost $20 for the first one, and $16 for each additional entry purchased during the same transaction.

Fish and Game Says Dogs and Deer Don't Mix

By Phil Cooper - Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Last week brought the first snowfall of the season to much of the Panhandle.

Relatively early snows are exciting news to skiers and snowmobilers who love to be enjoying their pursuits by Thanksgiving. With the holiday coming late in the month this year and snow already falling, many are optimistic they will be on the slopes and groomed trails on turkey day.

Deer hunters like snow on the ground too, because it can concentrate deer and make it easier to locate and to track deer. With seasons open through and including December 1 in most of the region, the new snow should aid hunters in their efforts to put healthy and nutritious meat into the freezer.

At higher elevations where lots of snow has already fallen, it will likely stay there for the entire winter. Although most of the snow did not last on the ground at lower elevations, it is likely that subsequent snowfalls in the very near future will be with us until at least April.

Impacts of snow on wildlife in northern Idaho are significant even in "average" winters. Snow cover reduces the amount of accessible food for most species in the wild, so the length of time there is continuous snow cover has a lot to do with the number of animals that die of natural causes in the winter. Snow in mid-November is somewhat early for our area and can add to the challenge of surviving. Reduced quantity and quality of food when coupled with the energy demands of cold weather creates survival challenges for animals that have no options other than to wait out the conditions.

One avoidable stress on big game animals, particularly deer, is the stress created when being chased by unconfined domestic dogs. In some of the chases, the dog catches the deer and the results are gruesome. In chases when the deer is not caught, just being chased by dogs uses up valuable fat reserves.

Ask Fish and Game: New Fishing License

Q. If I buy a 2014 Idaho fishing license on December 1, can I use it to fish to the end of 2013?

A. No. To fish in December 2013, you must have a valid 2013 fishing license. The 2014 license is not valid until January 1. But a resident 2013 season fishing license is still available for $25.75. A resident can buy a one-day license for $11.50 plus $5 for each additional day when purchased at the same time. But a one-day license holder can't buy a salmon or steelhead permit. Resident anglers must first buy a full season fishing license to buy a salmon or steelhead permit for $12.75. A nonresident daily fishing license is available for $12.75 for the first day and $6 for each additional day, or a three-day license and permit for steelhead is available for $37.50. For details see the 2013-2015 Fishing Seasons and Rules available at all license vendors, Fish and Game offices and online at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov.

Idaho Fish and Game Has the Perfect Christmas Gift Idea

To get ahead of the early spring arrival of Idaho's state bird, the mountain bluebird, Idaho Fish and Game is offering a limited number of bluebird nest boxes for $5 each.

These bird boxes make great Christmas presents for those wildlife lovers on our lists.

Funds collected from the nest box sale are used to enhance the Lewiston Wildlife Habitat Area located near the Fish and Game office. Fish and Game volunteers constructed the cedar nest boxes using donated lumber from Idaho Forest Products in Lewiston.

Bluebirds nest throughout Idaho in higher elevation meadows, forested areas and open ridges in mountainous regions. However, many trees with suitable nesting holes have been cut for firewood or taken by aggressive non-native species, such as the European starling and English House sparrow. Many bluebirds never find nest sites, so man-made nest houses can help fill the natural nest-site shortage.

Because bluebirds seldom nest in urban areas, boxes should be placed far from any building or community. In urban areas, nest boxes are likely to attract highly aggressive bluebird competitors, such as starlings or house sparrows.

Place nest boxes at least 100 feet apart. When boxes are spaced too close together, bluebirds will divert energy defending territory that would be better spent on reproductive success. Protect boxes from prevailing winds and the hot afternoon sun by mounting them on the north or east side of mounting posts or trees.

For more information on Idaho's bluebirds or volunteering for Fish and Game, contact the Clearwater Region Office, 3316 16th Street, Lewiston; 208-799-5010.

Fish and Game Hosts Dinner Meeting on December 3

Idaho Fish and Game's December sportsperson meeting will have a little different feel.

Instead of a usual breakfast meeting, December's meeting will feature a chili, soup and stew dinner on Tuesday, December 3, at the regional Fish and Game office at 3316 16th St. in Lewiston.

The dinner meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will include presentations on access site improvements, a summary of result from fall wildlife check stations, and an overview on the Craig Mountain elk monitoring project.

Anyone interested in management issues and wildlife biology is welcome to attend. These meetings are designed to stimulate informal discussion about local wildlife issues. Chili, soup and stew will be served free of charge on a first come-first serve basis.

For more information, contact the Fish and Game Lewiston at 208-799-5010. Please come and join in the conversation!

F&G to Stock Steelhead in the Boise River

Idaho Fish and Game plans to stock about 200 steelhead in the Boise River Friday, November 22.

This will be the only steelhead release this year, because the number of steelhead returning is low and most of them are needed to meet hatchery brood stock goals.

Because of their size - six to 12 pounds - the actual number of steelhead stocked will depend on the capacity of the tanker truck hauling the fish from Oxbow Hatchery on the Snake River. Fish and Game will release the fish at five locations between the Glenwood Bridge and Barber Park.

Besides a fishing license, anglers hoping to tangle with one of the hatchery steelhead need a $12.75 steelhead permit. Though required in other steelhead waters, barbless hooks are not required for Boise River steelhead angling.

To increase angler opportunity on the limited number of fish available for release, the bag and possession limits on the Boise River have been reduced to one fish per day and three in possession. The fall season limit is 20 steelhead.

All steelhead stocked in the Boise River will lack an adipose fin -- the small fin normally found on the back just in front of the tail. Boise River anglers catching a rainbow trout longer than 20 inches that lacks an adipose fin should consider the fish a steelhead. An angler without a steelhead permit who catches a steelhead must immediately return the fish to the water.

The fish are A-run hatchery steelhead, returning to the Idaho Power Company-owned and funded Oxbow Hatchery fish trap below Hells Canyon Dam on the Snake River.

For more information regarding the Boise River steelhead release, contact the Fish and Game Nampa office at 208-465-8465.

75th Celebration: Sportsmen Assume Conservation Burden

On March 4, 1939, the Idaho Legislature passed enabling legislation authorizing the Idaho Fish and Game Department to participate in a program that helped fund wildlife restoration.

This funding mechanism has helped to create the wildlife resource we have today.

The program was created on September 2, 1937, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, otherwise known as the Pittman-Robertson law. The law imposed an excise tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition for distribution to the states for wildlife restoration.

The first allocation of P-R funds for Idaho was $17,900. The money was used to continue a project to trap live beaver and transplant them. The live trapping was conducted primarily in north Idaho in agricultural areas where the animal's dam-building activities were causing damage. They were moved to mountain streams where they aided soil and wildlife conservation.

Hunters were, and still are strong backers of the law, which currently authorizes an 11 percent federal excise tax on sporting arms, ammunition and archery equipment and a 10 percent tax on handguns.

In 1952, the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act (Dingell-Johnson Act) went into effect imposing an excise tax on recreational fishing equipment. These two pieces of legislation have generated more than $275 million for fish and wildlife management and conservation in Idaho and $12 billion for fish and wildlife nationwide since the first was authorized 76 years ago.

The P-R and D-J Acts are among the first and most successful "user-pay/user-benefit" programs. The acts also establish hunters and anglers as conservationists who are responsible for the diverse fish and wildlife populations we all enjoy in Idaho today.

In 2013, Idaho Fish and Game received $9.9 million in P-R funding and $6.3 million in D-J funding.

Commission Expands Southern Idaho Elk Hunt

In response to complaints of elk damage on private lands, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission Thursday, November 14, approved changes to elk Hunt 2120 in south-central Idaho.

Commissioners also approved a cutthroat trout management plan and appointed a WAFWA representative.

Hunt area 56-3 was expanded and the season extended in an effort to reduce agricultural damages. The change expands the antlerless hunt east and south of the current boundary into several areas with chronic depredation complaints; extending the season through December 31 is expected to increase the overall harvest of antlerless elk.

The hunt began October 1 and would have ended November 30.

The Magic Valley Region worked with landowners in the area Unit 56 to address significant depredation concerns caused by elk on private land.

In other action, commissioners adopted a new Management Plan for the Conservation of Westslope Cutthroat Trout in Idaho.

The goal of fishery managers is to ensure long-term survival of the subspecies within its current range in Idaho, to manage populations at levels that would allow angling opportunities, and to restore the cutthroat to its historic range where feasible.

This native trout still occupies about 80 percent of its historic habitat.

Declines in native trout populations result from effects of habitat degradation, blocked migration corridors, degraded water quality, angler harvest, interaction with non-native species and other factors.

Research in the 1960s and 1970s showed that special angling rules, including catch-and-release or restrictive bag and size limits, benefitted native cutthroat trout populations. Special fishing rules applied across the range of westslope cutthroat trout have been effective in protecting and conserving populations.

Fish and Game will continue to assess habitat quality, population status, habitat connectivity and genetic status.

Nonresident Tag Sales Start December 1

The 2014 licenses, tags and permits go on sale at 12:01 a.m. MST, Sunday, December 1.

Nonresidents can buy licenses, deer and elk tags beginning Sunday, December 1. Residents also can buy 2014 hunting licenses starting Sunday, and they can buy a receipt for deer and elk tags, which don't go on sale until after deer, elk and pronghorn controlled hunt drawings.

Hunters can redeem the receipt for a deer or elk tag after the controlled hunt drawings in July so those whose names were drawn don't have to exchange their general season tags for controlled hunt tags at a Fish and Game office. Instead the controlled winners are simply issued a controlled hunt tag at any license vendor. The rest are issued general season tags.

Nonresident hunters can buy their licenses and tags at Fish and Game offices, any license vendor, or by credit card by calling 1-800-554-8685. They can also buy them online at the Fish and Game Website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov.

Big game hunters can find more information on the sale and purchase of tags for residents and nonresidents on pages 112-115 of the Idaho 2013 Big Game Seasons and Rules booklet.